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Amanda Isabel Garcia: ' I learned to be unapologetically myself'

2018

Amanda Isabel Garcia

Government & Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

White Plains, NY

How did any of your beliefs or interests change during your time at Cornell?

In my time here, I developed a great deal of self-confidence and self-love. I learned to be unapologetically myself. It was at Cornell that I finally stopped seeing my low socio-economic background as something to be embarrassed of. I also had to unlearn internalized ideas about what space I’m allowed to take up in a space like Cornell. I’m proud to say that I now understand I worked hard to be here and that I have a right to claim my education.

What do you value about your liberal arts education?

Through a liberal arts education, I have been able to take classes in the many identity-based departments like the Latina/o Studies Program, sociology, the American Indian and Indigenous Studies Program and Africana studies. These subjects and histories were not taught in my high school, so I made sure to take advantage of whatever classes I could take at Cornell. Cumulatively, they helped me learn about my identity and history and to see them as academic subjects despite their historical erasure.

What are your plans for next year; where do you see yourself in 10 years?

In May, I commission as a 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. Next year, I will attend the basic officer leadership course to become a military intelligence officer, as well as apply to law school. In 10 years, I see myself being an immigration lawyer and enjoying my life.